September 30, 2007
If you are constantly being told what to do, then sometimes this can go overboard. It creates different reactions in people. Some tend to walk away from the situation while others get defensive and in extreme situations, it can even stimulate a physical response.
“When someone limits your freedom of choice and, as a result, you end up wanting that restricted option, you are being reactant,” says Gavan Fitzsimons, professor of marketing and psychology at Duke University. He co-authored a study on the subject, which appeared online this year in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, a publication focused on research about human social behavior.
“People who are reactant perceive everybody as controlling,” Fitzsimons says. “They think everybody is trying to make me do something even if it’s just a friendly recommendation from a friend who is trying to help you make a better decision. You perceive it as a threat to your freedom.” The problem is that this type of response doesn’t always lead to great decision making and may cause people to act in ways that don’t benefit them.
In the study, Fitzsimons and Tanya Chartrand, associate professor of marketing and psychology at Duke, wanted to see whether reactant people were even conscious they were acting this way. In one experiment participants named two significant people in their lives, a controlling person who wanted them to work hard and a controlling person who wanted them to have fun. Then, before solving a series of anagrams, they were subliminally exposed to flashes of one of the names.
People exposed to the name of the person who wanted them to work hard performed significantly worse than those exposed to the other name. In other words, they unconsciously acted counterproductively because they felt someone was trying to encroach on their freedom.
In the real world, this could translate to a reactant person merely thinking of his or her boss, someone important and controlling who expects hard work, and thus wanting to disobey orders or find other ways to rebel. “They might be more likely to slack off or be late for meetings,” Fitzsimons says. “For people trying to motivate you to work this could be very frustrating.” Fitzsimons estimates that as much as 10% to 15% of the population is extremely reactant.
“If you work with or are married to this type of person, there are one or two strategies that might make life easier. Instead of telling them to buy milk, try asking if it there is anything they are running low on at home,” suggests Chartrand. “Let them think getting milk is their idea. Or try a little reverse psychology.”
If you think you are reactant and it is affecting your life, your best bet is to recognize what is going on and admit you have an issue. Therapy might be a good option. Excerpt taken from Forbes.com
September 29, 2007
Probiotics have lately caused some amount of attention by those who are in a habit reading labels of their foods that they purchase. They are nothing but live microorganisms that help in digestion and promote health.
Dr. Patricia Raymond, a board certified gastroenterologist, assistant professor for Eastern Virginia Medical School and medical consultant for the probiotic Florastor said that during 1940s, much of medicine focused on getting rid of bacteria-causing diseases via antibiotics. But recent studies have found some healthy bacteria like probiotics can have a positive effect on the body. Probiotics help with the absorption of nutrients, production of vitamin K and maintenance of healthy bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract.
Evan Fleischmann, a doctor of naturopathic medicine based in New Jersey said that they also known to inhibit growth of unhealthy bacteria by crowding it out. Experts say they can be most beneficial to people who have recently taken antibiotics, which wipe out not only harmful but healthy bacteria, the latter of which help protect against diarrhea or yeast infections.
Other experts, including Fleischmann, suggests that people take probiotics for as long as six months after going on antibiotics to slowly build up colonies and force out unhealthy bacteria. He feels that anyone who has ever taken antibiotics and not properly supplemented with probiotics afterward should consider doing so because it is difficult to repopulate the gastrointestinal tract with healthy bacteria. Some research also has shown that probiotics can reduce relapses of inflammatory bowel disease. But the data isn’t conclusive as to whether or not the general population should seek out probiotics.
According to Fleischmann, the average healthy person may stand to gain because he or she is not aware things aren’t quite right, putting up with problems like chronic constipation.“A common problem people with chronic constipation experience is fatigue or mental fog,” he says. “Just finding an increase in the frequency of bowel movements might be a change someone who otherwise thinks [he's] healthy might experience.” The best way to get your fill of probiotics is another source of debate. While raw yogurt is full of good bacteria, the majority of commercial yogurt is pasteurized, which kills the bacteria and its potential benefits. Some products then add live bacteria, but many experts say supplements are the way to go because they tend to contain a lot more of the good bacteria.
September 28, 2007
Many believe that working out in the morning is the best thing that can be done for the body. It is mainly because they feel the body is refreshed after a good night’s sleep and has extra stamina to burn more calories.
Some find the gym deserted at the crack of dawn and while others enjoy their jog in the tranquility at the park. There are others who wouldn’t dream of getting on the treadmill or bike before 6 p.m., when the day is behind them and their muscles feel stretched and loose. Now the question is which is better- the morning time or the evening? Personal trainers and experts on exercise say the effectiveness of your gym time depends partly on your body rhythms as well as what exactly you are trying to get out of it, whether it is losing inches around your waist or putting inches on your biceps. First, you have to pay attention to your body’s abilities, says Cedric Bryant, chief science officer for the American Council on Exercise, the nonprofit fitness certification and education provider. He counsels people that the best time to exercise is the one that works with their body clock and fits with their schedules. But that said, from a physiological standpoint, Bryant says the afternoon may be a better time to engage in more explosive exercises, such as kickboxing or racquetball. Research has shown that the body’s temperature tends to rise by a few degrees in the afternoon, warming the muscles and connective tissues and resulting in a slight improvement in your performance capabilities.
Working out in the afternoon also requires a little less time stretching on the mat because your heart and muscles are more prepared for the stress of exercise than when you’re fresh out of bed. Some experts say that working out doing cardio especially, in the morning will burn more fat calories because your carbohydrate reserves are almost used up. That causes the body to turn to fat stores for energy first.
Another point in favor of the early birds is that evidence has shown they are more likely to stick with their fitness routines. No matter what time you end up choosing to work out, the experts say you’re probably better off spreading it out in frequent intervals throughout the week, rather than saving it all up for one hellish day or the weekend. Even if you run the same number of miles in one day as you would have over three or four short sessions, you may burn the same amount of calories but you’ll lose out on other health benefits. Every time you exercise you temporarily lower your blood pressure and blood glucose levels, which provide cumulative benefits over the years.
Being regular is the key to maintaining good fitness regime. The determination to see that you are able to complete your workout regularly, inspite of your work schedule is vital. So do what suits you and your body best and continue to work at it. Excerpt taken from Forbes.com
©Nayna, 2007. All Rights Reserved.